ILLUSTRATION | BRENDON MARCZAN
How much gear you wear and under what circumstances is always hotly debated amongst riders. Really it should be a no-brainer to always wear protective gear given how vulnerable we are on the road, however is it really a bad thing to care about how you look?
In daily life, women mostly agree that we feel more confident in our abilities when we feel confident in the way we look. While I refuse to propagate the idea that confidence and self esteem is reliant on appearance, I’d also be lying if I said that I don’t buy my clothing (motorcycle gear included) based on how it compliments both my personality and silhouette. Manufacturers are following with more skinny leg kevlar denim available and replica vintage leather not to mention motorcycle jackets that look like they fit a woman rather than something stolen from the bowels of your boyfriends closet.
After recently discussing this with a friend who is an avid road and track rider, she recounted experiences of coming off herself and seeing friends hurt themselves severely. Even in the controlled environment of race tracks your second skin needs to be better than yours. So it is no surprise she is a staunch advocate for full leather gear whenever she’s on the road, and adjusts her riding akin to driving-miss-daisy if ever she chooses to wear denim jeans [to go to the beach] instead.
Thinking of my favourite vintage leather and converse high-tops while she awkwardly tried to walk around in her riding boots, I recounted the women I’d met who “own” their image on the road, who are by definition “hot-babes” and dress the part, which does mean skimping out on a few protective layers. When I mentioned it she said, “I get plenty of looks as a girl on a bike, women look good in leather”. For me, this was possibly the best answer I could have asked for. While I am never going to tell anyone how to live their life or what to wear, consider this advice from an experienced rider. There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress to your body type and style, and maybe next time you go for the denim jacket remember this wisdom from leather fiend and all round sex-symbol Cody Chestnutt… “I can do anything I want, because I look good in leather”.
Heleana is a force of nature. The founder of In Venus Veritas and The Petrolette, and a co-founder of Rising Sun Workshop. Heleana shares her love of vintage cars, riding motorcycles, and (not-so-secretly) dreams of flying planes and piloting a riva aquariva (a la Sophia Loren) very fast through the canals of Venice. Supportive and connected, community is her lifeblood, and she is as real as they come.